Conservative Republican governor Mike Pence has been under attack ever since he said he will sign an anti-gay “religious freedom” bill. Now he’ll be doing it in private.
If nothing else, at least Mike Pence might be learning that there’s a cost to flaunting religious bigotry and anti-gay hate. TheÂ Indiana Republican Governor, who has never made a secret of his far-right conservative Christian views, took to Twitter on Monday to brazenly announce he was looking forward to signing SB 101, the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
SB 101 is abt respecting/reassuring Hoosiers that their religious freedoms are intact & I look fwd to signing it: http://t.co/gBY86B083L
â€” Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) March 23, 2015
The RFRA, which passed Monday and went to the Governor’s office, will allow anyone, including organizations and businesses, to discriminate against anyone else, likely LGBT people, merely by citing their deeply held religious beliefs.
Since then, major corporations, including Gen Con, a $50 million annual gaming convention, SaleForce.com,Â Fortune 500 member Cummins,Â Eskenazi Health, and Eli Lilly and Co., along with George Takei, Pat McAfee, Jason Collins, the mayor of Indianapolis, and the State of Indiana’s tourism board have all come out against the legislation.
Today, Governor Pence moved from gleefully supporting the legislation to having a spokesperson announce he will be signing the bill privately on Thursday. No press allowed.
Local ABC News affiliate RTV6 notes the “growing backlash from opponents who believe it will open the door to discrimination.”
Leah Jackman-Wheitner is part of a movement on social media called “Where am I allowed to eat?” Her 18-year-old daughter is gay and she organized a rally outside of the courthouse in Columbus earlier Wednesday.
“That’s where the movement came from, is saying well, let’s just boil it down — where am I allowed to eat? I don’t want to offend a small business owner who doesn’t want to serve my family. So, I’d like to know where am I going to be allowed to bring my daughter to eat dinner,” Jackman-Wheitner said.
PenceÂ Spokeswoman Kara Brooks claimed there is “no particular reason” why the Indiana governor opted for a private bill signing ceremony. “Some ]bill signings] are public; some are private,” Brooks told the IndianapolisÂ Star.Â “Donâ€™t read into it any more or less.”
Opponents of the bill expressed outrage on TwitterÂ as well:
Gov. Pence STILL says he’s going to sign #SB101, and Hoosiers are pissed!!
â€” Cara Taylor (@CaraLTaylor) March 25, 2015
I can’t believe Mike Pence is going to sign that bill tomorrow!
â€” Justyn Smith (@j_smitty16) March 25, 2015
â€” Carly Braverman (@BatmanNOS) March 25, 2015
I am ashamed and embarrassed to call this my home state. A sad sad day. http://t.co/fRMkP8NXoW
â€” Tom (@PooterTom) March 25, 2015
Gov. Pence plans to sign #SB101 in a ceremony closed to the press and public. If he believes in it so strongly, why hide?
â€” Cory Schouten (@CorySchouten) March 25, 2015
â€” craig rittenhouse (@wilderide) March 25, 2015
â€” Amy Underwood (@warsawmom) March 25, 2015
Shame on you, Mike Pence and Indiana legislators. You make it embarrassing for me, and I’m sure many others, to be from Indiana.
â€” Jordan Burger (@jburg16) March 25, 2015
@CNNPolitics embarrassed to be a Hoosier. Waiting for a biz owner refuse service 2 Pence citing THEIR religious beliefs not to serve bigots.
â€” Ron Powell (@diogeron) March 25, 2015
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Bombshell WSJ Report: Trump Pressured DOJ Attorneys to Sue States in the Supreme Court to Overturn Election
President Donald Trump pressured U.S. Department of Justice attorneys, possibly including former Attorney General Bill Barr, to file a lawsuit against four U.S. states in the U.S. Supreme Court, in one of his final attempts to overturn the election before leaving office.
The Wall Street Journal reports late Saturday night that effort “failed due to pushback from his own appointees in the Justice Department, who refused to file what they viewed as a legally baseless lawsuit in the Supreme Court.”
The Journal also confirms Friday night’s New York Times reporting that Trump attempted to remove his own acting Attorney General, Jeffrey Rosen, after Barr left the DOJ just two days before Christmas.
According to the Journal, “senior department officials threatened to resign en masse should Mr. Trump fire then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, according to several people familiar with the discussions.”
“Senior department officials, including Mr. Rosen, former Attorney General William Barr and former acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall refused to file the Supreme Court case, concluding that there was no basis to challenge the election outcome and that the federal government had no legal interest in whether Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden won the presidency,” the paper adds.
The paper does not specify the exact timeframe of when Trump tried to force DOJ to file the lawsuit, but based on its report it had to have been after December 11, when the Supreme Court dismissed what most election law attorneys considered a frivolous suit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, along with other Republican state attorneys general.
This is a breaking news and developing story.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy Says “Everyone” Is to Blame for Capitol Riots
While Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has previously said that he thinks former President Donald Trump bears some responsibility for the January 6 coup attempt in which his supporters ransacked the Capitol to overturn the election that he and Republicans baselessly claimed was stolen, McCarthy added in a Thursday interview, “I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility [for the coup attempt.]”
McCarthy then said that anti-Trump Democrats, rude social media users, unprepared law enforcement authorities were all responsible too, even though Trump literally told his followers on the morning of January 6 to march to the Capitol and fight to stop legislators from approving the election victory of now-President Joe Biden.
“I think this is what we have to get to the bottom of, and when you start talking about who has responsibilities,” McCarthy said. “I think there’s going to be a lot more questions, a lot more answers we have to have in the coming future.”
It’s especially telling that his Senate counterpart, now-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has directly blamed Trump for the riots.
“The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said Wednesday. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”
After months of making baseless claims that a national conspiracy of widespread voter fraud stole the election from him, a claim laughed out of courts 60 times over for lack of evidence by judges that Trump himself appointed, Trump held a “Stop the Steal” rally on the morning of January 6 in which he said, that he won the election “by a landslide” and encouraged his followers to “stop the steal” by going to the Capitol. If people don’t “fight like hell,” Trump said, “you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Russia Explodes with Protests Against Putin Poisoning and Jailing His Biggest Opponent
Russian citizens in 38 cities are protesting the country’s sham elections in which Russian President Vladimir Putin has felt so threatened by the opposition candidate, anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, that he has had him imprisoned and poisoned in an attempt to silence his voice and kill his movement.
The Russian presidential elections are a complete sham used to legitimate Putin’s power. In the last election, Putin “won” nearly 77 percent of the vote amid claims of ballot stuffing, the Kremlin choosing which candidates get to run, police arresting any anti-Putin protesters and pro-Putin candidates receiving far more financial backing than his opponents.
Navalny himself, a popular anti-corruption campaigner who is one of Putin’s most outspoken critics, according to The Week, has previously been barred from running due to a trumped-up and controversial fraud conviction allegedly masterminded by Putin. In August 2020, Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent called Novichok and survived his hospitalization. Navalny has said he got a Russian federal agent to reveal how he was poisoned, though the Kremlin has denied any involvement.
Three days ago, Navalny was jailed once more for allegedly violating his parole. He now inhabits Matrosskaya Tishina or Sailor’s Silence, a jail in Moscow’s north-east region that has housed high-ranking prisoners that authorities have wanted to cut off from the outside world since the Soviet era, according to Reuters. The jail is notoriously deadly.
Russian citizens across the nation have seemingly had enough and have begun protesting his imprisonment, as the videos below attest. Hundreds have been arrested as police fight to maintain control.
The U.S. Embassy in Russia has weighed in by saying, “We’re watching reports of protests in 38 Russian cities, arrests of 350+ peaceful protesters and journalists. The U.S. supports the right of all people to peaceful protest, freedom of expression. Steps being taken by Russian authorities are suppressing those rights.”
Putin can’t rob the Russian people of hundreds of billions of dollars over twenty years and expect to get away with it. This is the reaction of the Russian people, chanting “Putin vor” which means “Putin thief”. It’s happening all over Russia right now. https://t.co/UhVSdWVeBX
— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) January 23, 2021
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) January 23, 2021
Сейчас в центре Петербурга pic.twitter.com/F0piyWGyRZ
— Дождь (@tvrain) January 23, 2021
Images from Russia today are transfixing: thousands all across the country defying authorities and protesting for @navalny’s release. So brave.
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) January 23, 2021
I’m just hoping against all hope this guy somehow independently came up with this outfit. https://t.co/VBKuZxhOHq
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) January 23, 2021
US embassy in Russia weighs in. https://t.co/99OJgKSXS1
— Bianna Golodryga (@biannagolodryga) January 23, 2021
Protests are taking place across Russia today, calling for Navalny’s release.
This is Vladivostok, in the country’s Far East pic.twitter.com/luO4oudeH9
— Matthew Luxmoore (@mjluxmoore) January 23, 2021
— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) January 23, 2021
— Jake Rudnitsky (@Rudnit) January 23, 2021
BREAKING: Clashes between riot police and Alexei Navalny supporters / protestors in Yekaterinburg, Russia. – #Protests
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) January 23, 2021
— Global News (@GlbBreakNews) January 23, 2021
Иркутск: «Мы не уйдём!» pic.twitter.com/9HIsGgXAcp
— Борис Золотаревский (@ZolotorevskiyB) January 23, 2021
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